On July 13, the UK the Home Office published a statement containing further details on the proposed new immigration system to begin on January 1, 2021, after the Brexit transition period.
The new immigration system will apply to both EU citizens and non-EU citizens. The visa application process will be simpler for EU citizens because they will not have to attend a biometric appointment to get a visa but otherwise, the rules will be the same for everyone.
- The main work visa will be the Skilled Worker visa, which is a revised version of the Tier 2 (General) visa.
- The skills threshold for a Skilled Worker visa will be lower than for a Tier 2 (General) visa. The boundary between the types of jobs that will and won’t qualify for a Skilled Worker visa appears arbitrary. For instance, bricklayers, chefs, PAs, and au pairs will all qualify for a Skilled Worker visa. Scaffolders, cooks, legal secretaries, and care workers will not.
- The general salary threshold will be £25,600 – down from £30,000 for a Tier 2 (General) visa. In most cases, employers will still have to pay the “going rate” for the job, which may be higher than the general salary threshold.
- The resident labour market test will be abolished.
- There will be no cap – so no need to apply for restricted certificates of sponsorship.
- The English language requirement will stay.
- There will be an Intra-company Transfer visa. The skills threshold and salary threshold for this visa will be the same as for the current Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa. The only people likely to use this type of visa are people who cannot pass an English language test.
- In most cases, the fees for a 5-year skilled worker visa will be around £10,000. For a family of four, the fees will be over £20,000. There are reductions for small sponsors and jobs on the shortage occupation list.
Erickson Immigration Group is closely watching the situation and will provide updates as more information becomes available.